Washington Square Park Conservancy

Deputy Director

To Apply

Washington Square Park Conservancy has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Elly Kirschner, Senior Director Harris Rand Lusk Executive Search 260 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


Your application should include a resume and cover letter describing your interest in the role; please put “WSPC” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Background: Washington Square Park Conservancy was founded in 2013 and, for a decade, has pursued its mission of keeping the Park clean, safe, and beautiful in cooperation with the NYC Parks Department and other neighborhood groups.  These efforts have ensured that the park continues to be a diverse and historic urban green space.  The Conservancy raises funds and implements programs for:

  • Landscapes – WSPC provides funds that allow two full-time gardeners, through NYC Parks, to dedicate their time to Park’s planting and maintenance. The Conservancy also provides horticulture support by purchasing a variety of plants and supplies.
  • Maintenance – In addition to the gardeners, WSPC funds three full-time and five seasonal maintenance staff to ensure the Park remains clean; this includes maintenance of the public restrooms.
  • Community – WSPC also funds a year-round playground attendant/children’s activities coordinator who provides general supervision and increased safety for the children playing in the Park’s playground. Programming also includes the Community Arts Grant Program, as well as a robust suite of volunteer and seasonal programming during the busier, warmer months.
  • Enforcement – Starting in 2023, WSPC funds five full-time and one seasonal Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to support NYC Parks in the enforcement of Park Rules & Regulations at the park.

With a strategic plan in place, WSPC is looking for a full-time Deputy Director (DD) to spearhead, under the leadership of the WSPC’s Executive Director (ED) who holds a dual role position simultaneously acting as the NYC Parks Administrator of Washington Square Park, public engagement through development and fundraising, manage WSPC staff, and assist leadership in long-term organizational and strategic planning.

Position: The Deputy Director will lead all public engagement with the Park community, including fundraising and communications strategy/execution. They will serve as a thought partner to the ED on strategic programmatic opportunities, fund development initiatives, and campaigns. The DD will work closely with both the ED and a committed Board of Directors, to establish and refine WSPC’s overall goals and objectives, as well as organizational strategy and planning, to ensure the long-term sustainability and success of the Conservancy and its programs. The ideal candidate will have an understanding of the public/private partnership model and must have a real appreciation for the critical role that NYC Parks play in the life of the City and for its residents and visitors.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Set and meet ambitious short- and long-term development goals, assuring fundraising supports WSPC’s programmatic goals
  • Working closely with the Board, develop a comprehensive fundraising plan that creates a diversified funding stream of individual, corporate, and institutional funders
  • Oversee the strategy and implementation of the annual fund, major gifts program, and successful events
  • Together with ED and Board, manage, cultivate, and steward a portfolio of high capacity donors
  • Manage all institutional giving (corporate and foundation giving, corporate volunteering), including research, grant/proposal writing, and reports
  • Develop, plan and manage fundraising events, including the development and management of host committees
  • Maintain eTapestry donor database
  • Provide ED and the Board with fundraising and communications reports
  • Serve as a strategic thought partner to members of the board, particularly surrounding issues of development and fundraising
  • Manage all WSPC Staff with assistance and leadership from the ED
  • Assist ED in the development and preparation of the annual budget; provided fundraising information and reports for regulatory reporting
  • As required, assist the ED in Board relations


  • Bachelor’s degree, masters or higher preferred
  • A minimum of 7 years of successful fundraising, marketing or related experience with a comprehensive understanding of operations, budgets and fiscal management, program design and implementation, and staff development.
  • Strong organizational skills with proven experience managing a diverse and independent staff
  • Demonstrated understanding and experience in raising revenues from both foundation and individual sources
  • Outstanding relationship-building skills with the ability to work effectively with a range of colleagues and partners
  • Experience working with a sophisticated Board of Directors on board development and fundraising
  • Experience with diverse event management from intimate parties to large scale events
  • Proven experience using a fundraising database (eTapestry preferred) and digital fundraising tools
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills including persuasive presentation skills for diverse audiences, including influencers and funders who will support WSPC and its work
  • Analytical, organized, proactive, and detail-oriented with a strong ability to prioritize
  • Superior time management skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks while meeting deadlines
  • Self-starter with creative strategic and problem-solving abilities who can generate new ideas that will lead to the growth and success of WSPC
  • Familiarity and experience with public/private partnership model highly desired.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to Greenwich Village a plus

This position is currently hybrid, with at least three days a week in the office/Park and the remaining time working remotely. After hours work or weekend work may be required on occasion due to the nature of the position. The schedule (including whether hybrid, in-person, or remote) may change at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Expected salary range for this position is $125,000 to $135,000, based on experience and qualifications. Benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance, with the organization currently covering 100% of premiums for single coverage. In addition, new employees are eligible for 15 paid vacation days, sick days, and 11 paid holidays each year.

WSPC is an equal opportunity employer and values the diversity of its staff. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. We foster a culture that values teamwork, employee development, and respect for the team as well as all people who use the Park. We strive to create a workplace that reflects the energy and diversity of Washington Square Park.

For more information about Washington Square Park Conservancy, please visit their website at https://washingtonsqpark.org

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168